Thousands of cheerleaders may have been exposed to mumps during a national cheerleading competition in Dallas last month. The Texas Department of State Health Services sent a letter to everyone who attended the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) All-Star National Championship.
The competition was at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Feb. 23-25. Athletes from 39 states participated in the competition in Dallas.
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State health officials say someone from another state, who had the mumps, traveled to Dallas for the competition. They are not identifying the patient.
Mumps, which is spread through the saliva or mucus of an infected person, causes puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw as it affects the salivary glands. It can cause fever, headache, loss of appetite, and fatigue. In some rare cases it can also cause deafness or encephalitis, swelling of the brain. Some people don't show any sign of infection.
So far this year, there have been 130 reported cases from January 1 to January 27 across 25 states and in 2017, more than 5,600 people got mumps, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2016, 6,366 cases were reported - the worst year for mumps in the U.S. since the MMR vaccine program was introduced in 1977.